The right to self defence in the UK is very much enshrined in case law. That means there is no specific formal statute that lays down an easy to follow continuum of force so that us citizens can carry an abridged, wallet-sized aide memoire version of it in case we need to get ugly with some pain in the arse who is hassling us or wandering about the neighbourhood looking suspicious. NB: Hard to find a legal definition of `suspicious` too. Not so in Florida, so it seems.
English law does sort of define this in respect of the offence of assault, creating a rather nebulous guideline that suggests when an assault on the person of another may be deemed justifiable ie. in self defence, defence of ones property etc. but all it says is that the force used must be reasonable and proportionate. Perhaps keeping it simple is the right way to go? The litmus test is usually left to the courts to decide but in all cases hitherto, the law Lords have always expected there to have been a degree of retreat until it is not reasonable to retreat any more, before force to defend is applied. As for defending the homestead, I always explained to my students that if the householder clobbered the burglar on the way in,(that's reasonably clobbered) there would be a far better chance of having it deemed justifiable than if the clobbering took place as said burglar was exiting the premises, as far more explanation would be required. I always had my own reasons and excuses well sorted in my mind, well in advance of any encounters.
It is, therefore, a very bright, nay blinding spotlight that currently focusses on this. And to cap it all, the very last thing that the community over there needs right now, in my humble opinion, is this.
I hope the Home Office's bright young reforming things take this into account when they sit down together and plan the re-structuring of the police service, especially the bit where they want to offload some of it to privateers.
I also hope old Clem, our local neighbourhood watch co-ordinator, doesn't get any ideas. The last thing the village needs is a lone wannabe avenger patrolling with his pitchfork and rabbiting lamp.